Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents #3: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in Dime Novels, Non-fiction, Pulps, References, Reprints, Review, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents #3: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time’

Fighting Crime One Dime at a TimeEd Hulse and his Murania Press have put out a third Blood ‘n’ Thunder Presents volume, this time focused on the pulp heroes: Fighting Crime One Dime at a Time.

(And, yes, there is a second volume in the series, The Penny-a-Word Brigade. I just haven’t gotten that one, and when I do I’ll post a review.)

As a pulp-hero fan, I recommend this volume, which has a whole set of articles on pulp heroes, all reprinted from previous issues of Blood ‘n’ Thunder. We also get a couple of pulp-hero comic stories from the golden age. Now, these are not your standard overview articles (though there are a couple of those). Several delve into some interesting topics, some have helped me with some of my postings here, and all are written by several pulp historians.

We get articles on many of the major heroes, and a couple of obscure ones.

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Francis Stevens and ‘The Citadel of Fear’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 2, 2017 in Fantasy Pulp, Reprints, Review, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Francis Stevens and ‘The Citadel of Fear’

'The Argosy' (Sept. 14, 1918)An interesting book I picked up recently was Francis Stevens’ The Citadel of Fear. Reprinted by Armchair Fiction as part of their Lost World-Lost Race series, this novel was originally serialized in The Argosy in 1918.

This particular edition had a short select of artwork from her other works (covers of their appearances in pulp magazines), as well as the wrap-around artwork for the Paperback Library reprint of Citadel. It also had a short bio of Stevens and it was interesting.

Francis Stevens was really Gertrude Barrows Bennett (1884–1948), an early author of fantasy and science fiction that some call the “woman who invented dark fantasy.” She actually dropped out of school after the eighth grade and later became a stenographer. Her first published work of fiction was a short story “The Curious Experience of Thomas Dunbar,” published in The Argosy in 1904. She later married and had a daughter, but her explorer husband died on an expedition. During World War I, her father died, and Gertrude had to help support her invalid mother.

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‘The Savage Dyaries’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 20, 2017 in Doc Savage, Fanzines, Non-fiction, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘The Savage Dyaries’

'The Savage Dyaries'The Savage Dyaries is a new collection of articles saved from pulp fanzines. In this case, Doc Savage articles written by Dafydd Neal Dyar that ran from 1979 to 1984.

Many of these fanzines are now hard to find, and so it’s great they are brought together for a new generation to enjoy.  Dyar has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Doc, and can be counted on to provide such info in on-line discussions on Facebook.

All the articles here have been extensively footnoted (in a few cases the footnotes are longer then the articles themselves). As this is marked “Volume 1,” so hopefully at some point we’ll see a volume 2, maybe a volume of his non-Doc articles or later Doc articles?

So what does DND have for us?

• A couple of articles on John Sunlight that speculate on his parentage.

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‘The Red Road to Shamballah’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, September 18, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Reprints, Review, Thrilling
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘The Red Road to Shamballah’

'The Red Road to Shamballah'An interesting serialized novel I obtained is The Red Road to Shamballah by Perley Poore Sheehan (1875-1943) and published by Black Dog Books.

Serialized in Thrilling Adventures over 1932-33, this reads as what I would imagine a Talbot Mundy-style novel would be (never having read Mundy).

American Pelham Rutledge Shattuck has lived in Asia most of his life. He knows many languages and is able to move more or less freely. But politics of the times causes problems. The Russians are expanded their influence, as are the British. He sometimes finds himself unwelcome in some areas as different sides think he’s on the other.

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‘Pulp Adventures’ #25

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Comics, Fanzines, New Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Review, Weird Fiction, Western Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Pulp Adventures’ #25

'Pulp Adventures' #25The 10th issue of the new Pulp Adventures — #25, Spring 2017 — is out.

This issue has a set of new and reprinted pulp fiction, all under a Norman Saunders cover (again). No non-fiction other than the information on the authors or pulps these appeared in, which I think added to things. I’d just like to see an occasional full article on some topic.

For pulp reprints, first up is one of Robert E. Howard‘s Sailor Steve Costigan stories, “Waterfront Fists” which appeared in Fight Stories. I was surprised to learn that this pulp, the first focused on a specific sport, ran for over two decades.

Next, we get some different Western stories. First is “Chicago Man” by E.K. Jarvis, which ran in Mammoth Western in 1946. From Will H. Thompson, we get “Tigre and Isola” that appeared in Adventure way back in 1911. And then a very short short story by Larry Latham: “Desert Rescue.” This one appeared in Thrilling Comics, due to postage regulations. Comics had to have two pages of text, so many ran short stories or later letter pages. I recall seeing this in many of the comics I got in the ’60s. Since many early comic-book publishers where connected to pulp publishers, they could get this done.

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‘The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,’ Vol. 1

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, July 31, 2017 in Occult Detective, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,’ Vol. 1

'The Horror on the Links: The Complete Tales of Jules de Grandin,' Vol. 1I had previously posted on Dr. Jules de Grandin, one of my favorite occult detectives, though he’s probably overlooked today. Created by Seabury Quinn (1889-1969), de Grandin ran for over 90 stories in Weird Tales, from 1925 to 1951.

I was fortunate to obtain the six books of de Grandin stories edited by Robert Weinberg in the 1970s, and always wanted to read more of the originals. Weinberg had selected what he felt was the best of the stories in those six books, and had apparently put together a list of what would appear in the next six. I always would have liked to know what he had planned.

The only complete reprint of all the de Grandin stories has been a set of three large and very pricey volumes from the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. I had always hoped for a more reasonably priced set.

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